Tuesday, September 8, 2020

My Last Ashtanga Yoga Led Primary Series Class

I am practicing Ashtanga yoga for the last 14 years. I am 55 years old and I do daily (well almost daily) Half Primary Series at home. I found this post dated from December 10, 2018 when I did my last Full Primary Series yoga class at nearby yoga studio. This post will be interesting for ashtanga yoga students who know sanskrit names of ashtanga asanas. Enjoy reading it. 😀


My muscles are sore and I feel tired this morning. Last night I was on led full primary series in the local studio. The class was at 6:00 PM, it was packed, there were more than 20 people and energy was high. During the class, I tried to place my attention on mula bandha. It is really hard...

We started with the chant followed by Sun Salutations... 5 A and 3 B. I'm not quite sure what is the reason but nowadays at the lead primary class it is always 3A+3B or 5A+3B. I was taught that it should be 5A+5B. Anyway, in sun salutations I was stretching myself and I enjoyed the movements.


Padagustasanas, Trigonasanas and Parsvakonasanas were strong and I did it with precision and long breaths. I kept contracting mula bandha while I was pulling my stomach in. Teacher counted a long 5 breaths in each pose and my heart-rate increased.

I calmed the breath in Prasarita poses and Parsvotanasana. In Prasarita, my head is just an inch from the floor. Since I started daily practice, here, I see the most improvement. I'm hoping by next month or so I'll be able to touch the floor with my head.

In Uthita-hasta-padangustasanas my standing leg was not straight and I was fighting with the balance. Teacher counted so slowly and I lost balance and touched the floor couple of times. I was breathing heavily and mula bandha was nowhere to be found.

I did the modification for Ardha-badha-padmotanasana, I bend the knee and touched the floor with my both hands. I was feeling pain like something pulling out from the hips. Indeed, good hip opener but very unpleasant pose.

Utkatasana and Virabidrasanas were okay. I was breathing heavily and my legs were trembling. Long five breaths on each side so I felt we are in the poses forever. I could hardly wait to sit down. I noticed that I don't bend the legs enough like in sun salutation B.


Breathing heavily and sweating like in the rain, I sit in Pashimotanasanas. I tried to engage mula bandha as hard as I could. I used long ujai breathing in order to calm the heart. In Urvatasana I was refreshed and strong.

In Janu-sirsasanas I tried to save the energy as much as I can. Long inhalation and exhalations in the poses and strong arms in vinayasas. I used blocks for the vinayasas. I am learning jump back and now I can lift myself up, do the rolling and extend my legs back. For now, I can do that only with the blocks. Then I put blocks on the side and do jump through but that is not even close to how should be.

Maryachasana A was okay, B - done with modification, C - just stop sigh, I can not bind as I use to do it before (stomach fat issue), and D - done with modification.


Navasana, 5 times, 5 long counts, with straight legs. On the third time I started trembling and shaking, my heart started to beat faster... First time since we started the practice I was feeling tired. Yes I was accustomed to half primary class. But here I have to continue.

Bujapidasanas and kurmasana are out of my comfort zone so I did just modification, mimicking the poses. I was breathing heavily and I tried to reconnect with the ujai breathing and keep a kind of pressure on mula bandha.

I don't know how I did Pindasana and Kukutasana, I simply don't remember those poses. My mind went blank. My breath returned in Badha Konasanas and Padagustasanas. I felt a bit recovered from tiredness, my breathing become normal and I performed Setu-bandasana okay. I even did chakrasana.


Urdva Dandursana was performed 3 times with five breaths. I was quick and I did not follow teacher's count but I did it three times. I went straight to forward bend, my heart wanted to go out of the chest. The back-bend was so intense and I almost strengthen my hands. I felt warm and flexible.

I calmed the breath in Sarvagasana and Halasana. I was feeling the panic in pindasanas. My stomach was pressing me. OMG such a large stomach I have. I can see it clearly in these poses. Matsyasana was okay and I did Utana-padmasana too. I like those poses, they feel good for the back.

Sirsana - 15 breath counts. I was strong and I supported the pose by arms and elbows and very little by the head. I can not stand more than 15 breaths in the pose due to such balance or rather an imbalance, I am not relaxed into the pose.


I can not sit in the lotus position so Yoga-mudra, Padmasana and Utplithi were done with cross-legged modification. I was exhausted and when we stand for the last sun salutation I was so shaky. But my mind was quiet.

Shavasana I did not think. I did not have the power to think. I just lied down observing my trembling muscles.




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